It’s not a pressure-cooker environment that is the problem, but boredom and alienation
“The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm.”
Apple has been hit with a barrage of criticism over the working conditions in the Chinese factories where its products are assembled: from newspaper reports of worker suicides, by monologist Mike Daisey’s interviews with underage workers, by a front-page exposé in the
New York Times
, by petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of would-be customers.
It was the first question put to CEO Tim Cook at an investor conference Tuesday, and he answered at length:
The next day, the president of the non-profit organization Apple has invited to conduct an independent investigation gave a long interview to Reuters:
Whether intended or not, van Heerden’s remarks served to support Cook’s contention that no one has done more than Apple to address the working conditions at factories most of its competitors use, but for which it’s taken all the heat.
Some found it odd that van Heerden would grant any kind interview at this stage in the FLA’s investigation.
“I’m flabbergasted,” says Daisey, whose reporting out of China’s Shenzhen city helped draw international attention to the problems there. “I know of no labor group that thinks it appropriate to comment on a company it’s investigating before that investigation has even begun.”